We got to talking with one of our York Instructors, Sarah, and her husband, Francisco, to learn a little bit about their lives off the mat and outside of the studio.
When and why did you start practicing yoga?
Francisco: I started practicing yoga thanks to my wife who enrolled in the Evolution teacher training program in the summer of 2014. I thought it would help with my back – and it did!
Sarah: I took my first yoga class when I was thirteen. I started practicing more regularly when I was in college as a way to help with migraines.
Who are you in the world?
Francisco: I am originally from Lima, Peru and came to the US to study 15 years ago. I am motivated, energetic, social and a person who loves to ask questions. I am curious about just about everything. When I was a little kid, I used to take all of my toys apart without any luck of putting them back together. That’s why I went to school and became an engineer. I have been working in the hydropower industry for the past eight years, designing hydro turbines and putting together proposals. Recently, I added a very important role in my life of being a father to our lovely 8-month-old son Noah.
Sarah: I am a proud mom to our baby Noah. I have enjoyed taking on this new role – in some ways, he is helping me figure out who I am. I teach yoga at the York studio. Teaching fills me up and centers me. I love having little adventures and cherish time with my family and friends.
How does the practice of yoga show up in your daily life, outside of the studio?
Francisco: Every time I finish a yoga class at the studio, I feel physically and emotionally better. Yoga helps me to slow down and relax, which is especially helpful as I have a pretty high energy personality.
Sarah: My breath is my greatest yoga tool off my mat. It gives me access to calm. My experiences on the mat have also built physical and mental strength that I draw from in my daily life. Yoga, especially through my teacher training experience in 2014, has dramatically shifted the way I see and relate to the world. My yoga practice continues to open me up to new possibilities and to a more authentic and grounded way of living.
How do you find time to prioritize yoga in your life?
Francisco/Sarah: We encourage and support each other to make yoga a priority in our lives. We know the benefits and we recognize how important it is to practice consistently. We try to take a snapshot of the week ahead and plan out who is going to which class when and then we hold each other accountable for making it happen!
Share something interesting about yourself.
Francisco: I have a passion for surfing. I love being in the water, no matter how cold – if the waves are reasonably good, I am there. Also, Sarah and I almost got bitten by a cape cobra while on vacation in Cape Town, South Africa. Happy we survived to tell the story!
Sarah: I approach life with enthusiasm and positivity – always trying to see the silver lining. I am up for fun and love to travel any chance I get. I also like to spend time outside as much as possible. In the past five years, I have overcome a lot of fear and social anxiety. I’m grateful that I had the experience to feel the way that I did because it makes me who I am today. I remain a highly empathetic person. I feel my feelings (and other people’s too sometimes!) in a big way and I’m still learning how to identify emotions and communicate them effectively. One thing I do know is that life is better when I spend less time trapped in my head and more time living in my body and enjoying the craziness of every day.
Thank you, Sarah and Francisco for being a part of the Evolution Community, giving us a sneak peek into your lives and sharing your yoga experience with us!